New Zealand vs Australia 1st Test – Devon Conway faces fitness test on his thumb Rachin Ravindra eligible to play

Conway is set to undergo further scans on his injured left thumb ahead of a fitness test on Wednesday to see if he is fit to play on Thursday.

Alex Malcolm

Devon Conway is out after a hit to his left thumb Good pictures

New Zealand opener Devon Conway will undergo a fitness test on Wednesday ahead of the first Test against Australia in Wellington with an injured thumb.

Conway injured his left thumb while keeping wicket in the second T20I against Australia in Auckland on Friday. Initial scans showed he had a broken bone, but he did not keep or bat after the hit and was ruled out of the third match of the series.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead confirmed on Tuesday that Conway would not train and a decision will be made on Wednesday whether he will play in the first Test.

„We're still investigating Devon's thumb,” Stead said. „He's seeing a lot of specialists right now. You won't see him in practice today. But we're hoping tomorrow morning to call around where it sits. He's had a bat in his hand a few times. It's not comfortable at the moment. But, like I said, we're still keeping our fingers crossed.” We are investigating exactly what is going on. We have had various experts look at it.”

Stead made sure to see Conway hit a few balls into the nets.

„He's going to get more scans later today and get more specialized on that,” Stead said. „We want Devon to play. I think he's a key figure in our batting line-up. His track record speaks for itself. So we want to give him every chance he gets.”

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Stead confirmed that Rachin Ravindra is fit to play after he was ruled out of the last two T20Is against Australia as a precaution following knee pain. Daryl Mitchell is fit to play after missing the second Test against South Africa and the entire T20I series against Australia.

Mitchell will return to No.5, meaning Will Young will open the batting alongside Tom Latham unless Conway is ruled out.

Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday after being told he would not be selected for the two Tests against Australia. His place in the squad was formal only for this Wellington Test.

Mitchell Santner is in line to return to the XI Good pictures

New Zealand played four fast bowlers in the last Test in Hamilton, but Stead, despite winning the match, admitted it was a selection error. Mitchell Santner is likely to regain his place in Wellington.

„In hindsight, we got it wrong the way the pitch went,” Stead said. „We've certainly got Mitch Santner as that option and we'll certainly consider him as well.”

The trio of skipper Tim Southee, Matt Henry and Will O'Rourke are the only pacers in the squad with Scott Kugelijin as the pacer. The pitch usually looks green within two days of the first Test, but those who have been to the middle said the live green is very good and firm underneath despite the grass cover.

New Zealand have not beaten Australia in a Test at home since 1993 and have not beaten them anywhere since 2011, but Stead said the series represented an opportunity to improve their record against their neighbours.

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„We don't play Australia very often, which is strange considering they're across the Tasman over there,” Stead said. „But look, they always set the benchmark and are the reigning World Test champions and they're there for a reason. They're a very good side. But it's an opportunity for us. That's what we need to go out and show our stuff. We're certainly looking forward to the challenge ahead. .”

Alex Malcolm is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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